Status of Walleye Stock at Wolf Lake, Alberta, 2003
Troy Furukawa, Bill Patterson, and Stephanie R. Grossman
To aid in the management and recovery of Alberta's walleye stock at Wolf Lake, the Alberta Conservation Association conducted a fall walleye index netting (FWIN) survey from 20 to 22 September 2003. The purpose of this survey was to collect data for the ongoing assessment of the status of the walleye fishery at Wolf Lake. Fall walleye index netting provides information on the abundance and population structure of fish and is used to assist Alberta Sustainable Resource Development in formulating sustainable management guidelines for the sport fishery.
Results from this survey indicate that walleye in Wolf Lake are comprised of moderately wide age-class and year-class distributions with two year-classes (1995 and 2000) underrepresented. The abundance of fish in the younger age-classes (< age 8) is indicative of successful recruitment. Walleye in Wolf Lake reach 50 cm fork length (i.e., length at which they can be harvested by anglers) at 6 or 7 years of age; representing a moderately fast growth rate and age-at-maturity was moderately young for both males and females. The mean catch of walleye was 38.0 walleye/100m2/24h (95% CI = 27.9 - 49.0 walleye/100 m2/24 h). These catch rates are considered high relative to other walleye fisheries in Alberta that have been assessed using FWIN surveys.